The number of 5G connections is likely to top one billion by 2025, according to new figures by Juniper Research. However, revenues from 5G IoT are likely to disappoint, analysts warned.
The forecasts represent an increase from an estimated one million in 2019, the anticipated first year of commercial launch. This will represent an average annual growth of 232 percent.
The analyst company’s new report, 5G Market Strategies: Consumer & Enterprise Opportunities & Forecasts 2017-2025, warned that to be successful, 5G fixed wireless broadband would need to meet expectations in real-world scenarios to compete with fibre broadband.
It said that China, the US and Japan would have the highest number of 5G connections by 2025; together these three countries will have 55 percent of all 5G connections.
The research found that the US alone will account for over 30 percent of global 5G IoT connections by 2025, with the highest number of 5G connections underpinning fixed wireless broadband and automotive services.
Read more: Wait for 5G? The IoT needn’t hold its breath
Disappointing IoT revenues from 5G
In terms of commercial IoT revenues, Juniper forecasts that ARPC (average revenue per connection) will be disappointing, including those for smart city and digital health applications.
The firm says this is due to low data requirements and nominal duty-cycles. The research urged operators to develop new business models in order to minimize network operating costs, including software-based solutions to manage the diverse requirements of individual 5G IoT connections.
The research outfit added that maximizing connectivity revenues through 5G fixed wireless broadband would prove crucial to offset this disappointment, with ARPC from these connections forecast to remain above $50 until 2025.
“Operators and vendors must test their networks in a real-world environment at scale, ensuring speeds can compete with fibre services,” said research author Sam Barker. “Networks that can deliver the highest speeds and greatest reliability will command the highest ARPCs, hastening an operators’ return on 5G investment.”